PROFS Forum on Self-Insurance

Governor Walker said in his State of the State address last month he would use savings from changes in state employee health insurance for increased funding for education. One option under consideration is switching from the current model of HMO’s to self-insurance.

The Wisconsin Group Insurance Board has begun the process to consider self-insurance and will vote Wednesday, February 17 on the language they will use for a request for proposals from companies that may help with self-insurance in the state.

In recent years two different consultants provided very different cost savings estimates to the board, and the board is hoping new information will help them decide whether or not to move ahead with self-insurance. Background information is available here.

PROFS will host a forum on self-insurance and what that means for state employees, including UW-Madison faculty. The forum will be held Tuesday, February 23 at 4 pm in the DeLuca Forum in the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 N. Orchard Street. It is free and open to the public.

The panel includes UW-Madison School of Business professor Justin Sydnor, Lisa Ellinger, Director of Office of Strategic Health Policy with the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds, and a third panelist to be named soon.

February Board of Regents Meeting – updated with correct location

uw system logoThe University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will meet in Madison Thursday and Friday, February 4 and 5. Meetings will take place at Union South, 1308 West Dayton Street. Livestream coverage of the full board meetings is here.

UW-Madison is the host of the meeting and several campus leaders will have the opportunity to address members of the board. Chancellor Rebecca Blank will update the board on the “All Ways Forward” campaign on Thursday afternoon, while Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Darrell Bazzell, and Interim Vice Chancellor for University Relations Charles Hoslet will speak to Regent committees Thursday morning.

The full board convenes at 1:15 pm Thursday with Chancellor Blank’s presentation. UW-Madison will also present its annual NCAA Division I Athletics Report. The board will meet in closed session to discuss several personnel issues, including compensation for UW-Madison football coaches.

The board continues its meeting Friday morning at 9 am with with reports from the Higher Educational Aids Board, the Hospital Authority Board, the Wisconsin Technical College System Board, and the Tuition-setting Policy Task Force.

The Education Committee will reconvene after the board adjourns to discuss the report of Tenure Policy Task Force. Documents to be discussed are below.


Post-tenure Review

Faculty Layoff

Legislative Update

winter capitolUW System Tenure Policy Task Force

PROFS actively followed the work of UW System’s Tenure Policy Task Force, which concluded its work in December and released updated layoff and post-tenure review language in January. The Regent Education Committee will review the proposed language on February 5 and full board action is expected in March.

PROFS Forum on Self-insurance for State Employees

PROFS will host a public forum on the possibility of self-insurance for state employees later this month (details to come).  The Wisconsin Group Insurance Board has received conflicting reports on if self-insurance would save or cost the state millions of dollars and will vote February 17 vote on whether or not to issue a request for proposals on such a move.

Wisconsin Legislature

The Assembly and Senate are currently meeting in their last scheduled floor period of 2016, but could reconvene in special or extraordinary sessions. PROFS is monitoring and lobbying on several items, including:

  • Assembly Bill 305/Senate Bill 260, Limits on Scientific Research  PROFS officially registered and delivered testimony against AB 305 and SB 260, proposals that would make it illegal to provide or use for experimentation fetal body parts. If passed, the bills would criminalize the research and use of scientific material previously derived from fetal tissue. Both bills have passed out of committee but have not been scheduled for a vote. PROFS will continue to strongly oppose the proposals, which have far-reaching negative consequences on campus.
  • Assembly Bill 480/Senate Bill 363, Campus Concealed Carry  PROFS is registered against AB SB 363, legislation that would require UW System and Wisconsin Technical College System campuses to allow concealed carry of weapons in campus buildings. Current law permits concealed carry on campus grounds, but allows individual campuses to forbid weapons in buildings. PROFS is vigorously opposed to this legislation telling legislators in a statement that “we believe that making it easier for people to carry firearms and bring them onto university property would make it more dangerous for the faculty, staff and student of the University of Wisconsin.”
  • Assembly Bill 814, Shared Governance  PROFS is registered in favor of this bill, recently introduced by Representative Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton), which would return university shared governance to state statutes. PROFS worked with Hesselbein on the bill, and PROFS president Judith Burstyn spoke in favor of the proposal at a press conference announcing the legislation in December.
  • Tenure  Representative Cory Mason (D-Racine) will introduce legislation restoring strong tenure language to state statutes. PROFS will register in favor of this proposal once the bill is introduced.
  • College Affordability Package  The Governor announced a package of six bills that address college affordability last month. All six bills passed the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities last week.

UW System Tenure Policy Task Force Update

The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents Tenure Policy Task Force concluded its work on December 23 and released updated layoff and post-tenure review language last week (below).

This language will be reviewed by the Board of Regents Education Committee at the February 4 board meeting. UW-Madison is hosting the meeting, which is open to the public, at Gordon Dining and Event Center, 770 West Dayton Street. Full board action on the tenure and layoff documents is expected in March.

The University Committee is holding a special meeting in Room 260 Bascom Hall at 10 am Friday, January 29 to gather feedback on the language. Comments may be sent to the Secretary of the Faculty, UW System is also taking comments online.

Post-Tenure Review

Faculty Layoffs

Faculty Tenure

State of the State Tonight

Governor Scott Walker

Governor Scott Walker

Governor Scott Walker will deliver his sixth State of the State address at 7 pm this evening. It will be broadcast live on public radio and television, with a live webstream on WisconsinEye.

The governor declined to offer specifics about the speech when asked over the weekend, but did say he would talk about workforce development and job readiness. Walker’s speech may also include highlights of the college affordability package announced last week.

UW System Tenure Policy Task Force Meeting

The University of Wisconsin System Tenure Policy Task Force will meet tomorrow, Wednesday, December 23 at 2 pm. The meeting will be held in Room 1820 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Drive, and is open to the public.

The task force is expected to finalize layoff and post-tenure review language. Current draft language is below.

Recommendations from the task force will be forwarded to the Board of Regents Education Committee for consideration at its February meeting. Full board action could happen in March. UW-Madison will hold campus information sessions on the proposed policies in January.

Layoff and Termination Draft Language

Post-Tenure Review Draft Language



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